We moved last year, so this is our first winter in the new house. We recently received the electric bill and had a mini-stroke. While we knew it would be more expensive since it was a larger home, we weren’t prepared for how much higher it was.
So I set off to reduce the cost of electric and save us some money. In this post, I will highlight 4 main ways we reduced our bill by over $100 a month.
4 Ways To Cut Energy Costs And Save Money
#1. Replace Light Bulbs
This is a no-brainer. We started to replace all of the incandescent lights in the house with LED bulbs. Yes the cost to buy LED bulbs is higher, but the electric they use is drastically less. Plus the LED bulbs last longer too.
To keep costs in check when buying bulbs, we waited for them to go on sale.
We also reached out to our electric company as they offered coupons on LED bulbs too. We also replaced them in stages. We started out with the lights we use all of the time ñ kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, etc. Then we slowly replaced bulbs that we used less frequently like the basement, powder room and guest rooms.
The windows in our house are drafty and need replacing (which will save us some more money on energy costs this spring). But for now we slowed the draft down by using cellular shades. These honeycomb shades act as insulation and keep more of the cold air out.
Now adding these to all of our windows would be expensive. So we again only did this in rooms we use a lot. For the other rooms, we made sure to caulk around the trim and put plastic wrap around the windows to keep the cold air out.
#3. Weather Stripping
Next on the list was to check the doors. One night I tool a flashlight and shined light all around the door. My wife was on the other side of the closed door and noted when she could see the light. Then on a cold day, I ran my hand around the closed to door to see where I felt cold air coming in.
For most of the doors, no light and no cold air was felt. But for 2 doors, there was a lot of cold air coming into the house. We ended up replacing the weather stripping around those doors to seal them better.
On the bottom of the door, we added a draft guard to help as well. Now when we check them, no draft and no light shines through.
#4. Thermostat Adjustments
Lastly, we adjusted our thermostat. We dropped the temperature in the house a couple of degrees. The first couple of days, it was always freezing in the house. But this was mainly because we were used to a warmer house and walked around in shorts and tee shirts. Once we dressed in pants, it wasn’t freezing any longer.
Bonus Tip: Get An Audit
Finally, you can get an energy audit. We haven’t done this yet but are planning on it. For a small fee your electric company will send someone out to audit your house and give feedback on things you can do to save money on energy costs.
You can either do nothing and have the audit and then take steps to reduce your energy usage or take steps like we did to fix some easy issues and have the audit point out some things you might not have thought of. Either way, it is money well spent.
Overall, we were able to reduce our energy costs by a decent amount just by following these steps. We are going to monitor our bill for a couple more months as one month isn’t definitive proof that we are on the right track. We want to see a trend of lower bills.
We will be doing an audit as well so that we can become aware of other issues we need to address. We feel with what we’ve done so far, replacing the windows in the spring and doing the energy audit will have us saving a good amount of money each month of electric costs.